Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) is an umbrella term for the laws, rules, guidance and processes designed to help protect employees, the public and the environment from harm. In the workplace, the responsibilities for designing and implementing appropriate procedures is often assigned to a specific department, often called the "EHS" department which is responsible for environmental protection, occupational health and safety at work.
EHS management has two general objectives: prevention of incidents or accidents that might result from abnormal operating conditions and reduction of adverse effects that result from normal operating conditions.
Regulatory requirements play an important role in the role and EHS managers must identify and understand relevant EHS regulations, the implications of which must be communicated to executive management so the company can implement suitable measures.
EHS management is not limited to legal compliance and companies should be encouraged to do more than is required by law, if appropriate. From a health & safety standpoint, it involves creating organized efforts and procedures for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances. It also includes training of personnel in accident prevention, accident response, emergency preparedness, and use of protective clothing and equipment.
From an environmental standpoint, it involves creating a systematic approach to complying with environmental regulations, such as managing waste or air emissions all the way to helping sites reduce the company's carbon footprint.
Successful HSE programs also include measures to address ergonomics, air quality, and other aspects of workplace safety that could affect the health and well-being of employees and the overall community.
Possible effects on the community should focus on aspects of the project or result of individual impact area assessments that could increase the risk of personal harm, such as, air quality, increased traffic accident rates, possibility of accidental release of health threatening pollutants into water supplies, increased chances of flooding problems and increased crime rates.
The study begins by identifying other projects or facilities proposed for the study area. As with land use impacts, these proposed other projects are then factored into the description of future no-build conditions. The impacts of the project being assessed are added to these "background" condition to determine whether the project will create an incremental adverse effect to such an extend as to render the total impact significant.
EHS guidelines cover categories specific to each industry as wells as those that are general to most industry sectors. Examples of general categories and subcategories are:1. Environmental which Includes air
Emissions and Ambient Air Quality, Energy Conservation, Wastewater and Ambient water quality, Water conservation, Hazardous Materials Management, Waste Management, Noise, Contaminated land.2. Occupational Health and Safety includes
General Facility Design and Operation, Communication and Training, Physical Hazards, Chemical Hazards, Biological Hazards, Radiological Hazards, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Special Hazards Environments, Monitoring.3. Community Health and Safety signifies
Water Quality and Availability, Structural Safety of Project Infrastructure, Life and Fire Safety (L&FS),Traffic Safety, Transport of Hazardous Materials, Disease Prevention, Emergency Preparedness and Response.4. Construction and Decommissioning includes
Environment, Occupational Health and Safety, Community Health and Safety.